Submitted by deke on 1 March 2012 - 8:15am.
Today, Adobe Illustrator---in practical terms the last vector-graphics drawing application standing (on its feet, anyway)---turns 25 years old. Even tho it now turns out to be the oldest, Illustrator wasn't the first. MacDraw, Cricket Draw, and a host of others had stakes in the ground before it came along. But Illustrator was the first to print reliably to PostScript RIPs, which meant that nothing dropped out and strokes aligned just as you had hoped. And it included a GUI for laying down Bézier curves, known forevermore with love and loathing as the Pen tool.
At the time of its release (1987), the only other program with a Pen was Fontographer, an excellent typeface-creation program from the folks who would a few months later give Illustrator a run for its money with Aldus FreeHand.
Just for fun, here's the first vector illustration I drew (also c. 1987) in the black and white-only and Macintosh-only Illustrator 1.0.
Just for larfs, here's how that same image appeared on a Mac 512K screen, which is what we all were using in those dim days. On the plus side, you could enjoy this splendid preview only when you hard-switched to the Preview mode. Which didn't let you draw, btw. You had to just sit there in awe of your creation. Oh, wait, on second thought, that actually sucked!
Lest anyone forget, 512K is roughly enough RAM to hold a full-color image that measures 418 x 418 pixels. (In the name of all that's holy, how in the world did we manage?) And yet Illustrator worked without a hiccup.
(Warning: cursing ahead.) Read more »